Collaborative event to focus on Experiential Education

Brock University’s leadership in the area of Experiential Education will be highlighted next week.

Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI), in collaboration with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, will host an event on Thursday, April 27 that focuses on the many innovative experiential projects, course assignments and learning activities taking place at the University.

Spring Perspectives in Teaching and Learning: Spotlight on Experiential Education aims to take participants beyond the lecture hall to engage with other members of the Brock community in a wide range of settings.

CPI’s Director, Jill Grose, was quick to point out the depth and importance of experiential learning at the University.

“Brock has a long history of student-centred learning, with our traditional focus on seminar and labs,” she said.

“What we are now seeing represents a continued commitment to innovative teaching and learning, but we are also getting much better at incorporating authentic learning activities and assessments into the curriculum — and the students are benefitting.”

Conference participants will start the day with a panel discussion before fanning out to settings more familiar to experiential learners, such as an interactive showcase, an informal discussion on reflective practice at the outdoor fire pit on campus and interactions with Experiential Education co-ordinators.

Some of the areas of Experiential Education that will be presented include a new Psychology course that helps students to navigate their career path, a course that sees students learning and engaging with seniors in a nursing home and a course that lets students spend 10 days learning the skills of a field geologist.

In addition to the courses on display, the showcase provides opportunities for the University community to engage with the departments who facilitate and support experiential learning at Brock.  

Participation in real experiential learning practices at the conference is important to those planning the event, including Brock’s Associate Director of Experiential Education, Sandy Howe.

“We have set the morning up so that people have a chance to get outside, have a conversation and move around,” Howe said. “We hope that participants come with curiosity and enthusiasm to learn about Experiential Education.”

The conference, she said, is an opportunity to “learn more and think about how Experiential Education can be applied to the work Faculties do for our students throughout their studies.”

Brock recently became the first Canadian university to have its definition of Experiential Education adopted by its Senate. And this high level of support is reflected in the diversity of the event’s offerings, as well as the experiential learning opportunities that exist in courses and other learning exercises throughout the University.

The Spring Perspectives in Teaching and Learning: Spotlight on Experiential Education takes place Thursday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

More information on the event, as well as registration forms, can be found online.

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